After I wrote the following blog entry and reread it, I decided I better give a tiny amount of background. Volcanos do not erupt all of a sudden; there must be signs of active unrest first, the pressure builds up then….EXPLODE. I have been boiling and simmering for days. Little things have turned into enormous things. Number 3 will not stop crying, all day, every day. He stands at my feet like a little troll crying and screaming and tries to climb me like….a volcano….so that he can find his proper place on my hip. Number 2 is seeing just how many times he can get in trouble for not listening. It has gotten so blatant that when he does something that he knows he shouldn’t, he looks at me and runs to put himself promptly in the time out chair. All by himself. Number 1 is Six going on Thirteen. Actually, she is not so bad. But she is another body I am in charge of, and on days like this one, that is just too much. I have way overextended myself. Period. I have volunteered, socialized and given away too much time. But the volunteering slots never fill up and the bake sales must go on!! And I can’t find a place for breathing. So here is this day…..
This day is just REAL. No helpful insight as to what I learned from it. No warm fussy’s from my faith. Just raw, real mess. I am a mess today. It has been snowballing for a few days. I can always see it coming. I just pray that it doesn’t get to this point, but it does. Always.
It began this morning with Number 2 at breakfast. What did I fix him??? Chocolate and butter toast on WHITE BREAD!!! That is like a donut!! The Husband thinks white bread is the devils food. He thinks that our children will die an early death from diabetes and heart disease because I bring this bleached flour product into our home. But typically it leads my kids to eat All. Their. Food. And to me that trumps wheat. Always.
However, being the stubborn, button-pusher that Number 2 is, he snarled his nose and gave me the ‘tude. I sent him straight to his room for speaking to me rudely. First timeout…7:15am
Beautiful Number 3 has her school pictures today and what did she do this weekend? Tried to move an 80 pound tree log down our yard into the woods. The log won. Her face did not. But I let it go. Her outfit will more than make up for the bloody scratches all along the side of her face. I choose to not let this one bring me down.
Last night The Adorable Husband was kind enough to stay up with me and clip coupons.
I am doing it for him, ultimately. I have SWORN off couponing more times than I can count. The massive hours that are involved in preparing for double coupon weeks at the Teeter are overwhelming. But when they tell me how much I have saved at the end of my order, and the college students behind me in line look to me with such awe, I am motivated to return to the coupons. NO MORE. This day has sealed the deal for me. After hours of researching, printing, matching, stacking (coupon-ers will understand), clipping, and just general preparing, I was armed and ready to go. Triple coupon week, here I come. Now, at this point, going anywhere with Number 3 is like a reoccurring bad dream. But I am prepared, it will not take more than an hour with all the prep work I have done and…I have suckers, in my pocket, ready to go. One hour and 2 suckers later I arrive at the check out. I smile proudly at the cashier. He has no idea how successful I am. My child may be sticky from head to toe, but this was NOT the baby he heard screaming for the last hour. AND I have accomplished the EXACT 20 coupon limit for the day. “Ma’am, your total is--way more than I expected it to be--today” I stop, my heart drops. “It is not triple coupon day today is it???” “No ma’am, that is tomorrow.” STOP CALLING ME MA’AM!!! I want to cry. He has no idea how extremely unsuccessful I am. Yes, you guessed it, I made him give me back all of my coupons. Not sure why, because I am so done with the couponing. I make him cancel the order and I leave with only a sticky baby to show for it. Before I made it to the car, I was in tears.
In hindsight, there were 2 red flags raised trying to protect me from this experience. One was that the parking lot was empty. I am certainly not the only coupon mom in this town, and typically the lot is FULL by 7am for the big coupon events. Also, EVERYTHING that I wanted was available. No shelves were cleared. That has never happened. I made note of both of these things as I shopped. Still I continued. I was there at 9:15am. How proud I was of myself being the first one here today. RIGHT.
I gain my composure and make my way home. I decide that I need to get home and do something that makes me feel productive. I get home, try to be productive but Number 3 won’t get off of my leg. He screams, he cries, he begs. It is as though if he is not on my hip at all times he will surely die. I might die instead. It is hard to be this loved. I put him in his crib. He has to be tired after all that crying. He cries more, I fold laundry. I realize I have ruined my favorite pair of pants, I can’t even be bothered with this. I have entered that dark hole in my mind. I put laundry away. He still cries. I go get him. Clearly he is not tired after all that screaming. I put him on my hip. He smiles. I don’t smile back. He is cute, but not that cute today. I will need a hip replacement at an early age if he keeps this up.
We head to pick Number 2 up at preschool. His teacher, for the first time in his school career, tells me that he was bad. He didn’t listen; he had to be put in time out. I am still in the dark hole in my mind so I stare at her blankly. On the way home, I tell him that he is in trouble. I go to that place I have found where I can speak without yelling, “God asks us to obey. You didn’t show God’s love to your teachers today.” He will have to go to bed without his milk. “Can I have juice instead??” NO!!! I pray all the way home. Both boys down for a nap, I head to get some more clothes to productively wash. Maybe I can control the laundry, if not the children or the fury in my soul. On my way back up I hear something in the bathroom. It is Number 2 standing on the back of the toilet seat looking out the window at the man mowing our neighbor’s grass. It is very alluring because the window is open. He did this yesterday and I got him down, explained to him, ever so patiently, how dangerous that was, and made him promise that I would never see that again. And yet, here he is. I spank his bottom, as this is the 501st time this week that he has not listened, and this time it is about safety. Or because I am at my wits end. Either way, I am ok with his spanking. I DO NOT want to find him splat on our driveway. However, after I send him to bed I let myself boil over while thinking about my unproductive, dreadful, overwhelming day and his mischief at school. I yell, I slam doors, I get very very ugly. I cry, I fall to my face and beg for the patience to do this job. Yes, it is all this dramatic. So there I am on my face, literally, just sobbing into my very dirty carpet. Because Number 2 was standing on the back of a toilet? No. Because Number 3 loves me too much? Probably not. Because I fail royally at couponing? Nope. I have just allowed myself to reach the end of the rope. I have given in, given up and gotten lazy today. It takes a lot of work to stay patient. It takes even more work to discipline and raise children. Unfortunately it is a J.O.B. to remain deliberate about staying positive in your chaos.
The enormous-little things continued all day, these are just the ones that pushed me into the crying stage. I stayed ugly all day. I cancelled Bible Study. I dug my Zoloft out from underneath my bathroom sink. I sent the Husband out to McDonalds with the kids for dinner and I popped open a bottle of wine. The Faithful Husband reminds me that the evil one is winning. I agree, but I am too tired to put up a battle with him right now. He may have won this round today. Luckily, His mercies begin afresh every morning! I can tell you one place I will not be on my new day God will grant me tomorrow, in line-at a grocery store-with my coupons, or my sticky baby!!